Only nine votes separated incumbent Omar Ornelas from the second-place vote getter – Connie Lum-Perez — in Tuesday’s unofficial final vote count in the Lathrop City Council race that does not include absentee ballots turned in at polling places on Election Day.
Lum-Perez holds a 12 vote lead over incumbent Paul Akinjo, who is currently in first place. Two seats are up for grabs.
“It’s suspenseful – too close to call,” Lum-Perez said. “I’m not a politician so I really didn’t quite know what to expect going into this. The person with the most votes gets the seat – it’s the democratic way.
“Everybody that I’ve spoken to has been very positive and I think that’s a good reflection on our community as a whole.”
There are still provisional and late absentee ballots that have yet to be counted, so the numbers in the race could change in the coming days. The ballots are always recounted, and will likely get a closer look given the razor-thin margin.
“I think the last four years have been incredible. We’ve done a lot of really good work and I think that we’ve set up this city for those that come in either in this election or in the future,” Ornelas said. “I’d love to see that continue – the development and the community building and the setting up of the culture and the teamwork that we’ve seen.
“I think we’ll get a better idea later tonight on what things look like and what direction that they’re going to head. But I feel so lucky to have been able to have played a part in some of the projects that have come before us. Getting to look at something that you played a direct role in – whether it was planning or the concepts or actually watching it being built – is one of the best feelings anyone can ever have.”